Review – Verdun


Verdun promo banner 2015_big

Verdun

Developer: M2H Game Studio / Blackmill Games
Publisher: M2H Game Studio / Blackmill Games
Platforms: PC
Released: 4/28/15
Verdict: Hold the trench!
Score: 7/10

 

While World War I was supposed to be the “war to end all wars” the First-Person Shooter genre has been dominated by 2 main eras, World War II and modern day/near-future, and World War I has been pretty much ignored. While that likely has much to do with the way in which WWI was fought, trench to trench for yards at a time, which probably wouldn’t make for the most interesting single-player campaign, it should lend itself well to multiplayer, and that’s what the developers of Verdun hoped to accomplish.

Verdun Picardie 1

Verdun is a 32-player squad-based online multiplayer shooter focused on the back and forth trench warfare that defined World War I. Teams take turns alternating between being the attackers and defenders of their respective trenches. Capturing a trench is much like capturing a point in Call of Duty’s Domination mode or Battlefield’s Conquest mode and the attacking team needs to get a number of their troops in and fight back the opponents for a matter of time until the point is captured. There are 7 different squads (3 Central Powers, 4 Allied Powers) each with 4 different squad members mostly comprising of a commander, sniper, machine gunner, and assault that each have their own sets of weapons and slightly different skills. Higher level commanders can call in mortars, spotter planes, and even gas canisters (i.e. Mustard Gas), the assault classes usually have grenades and more sprinting stamina and so on. However in my time with the game I’ve found the progression system very confusing and the “progress” screen under the account tab from the main menu all says I’ve played 0 mins for every squad but also has some of the progress bars for the different classes filled, so that’s something that can hopefully be updated in a future patch. There’s also no way from the main menus to find out when you will unlock any new abilities or perks from leveling up nor is there any way to spend your career points (earned from leveling up) outside of the in-match menus. There’s also a 6 player, rifles only, free-for-all mode that I spent a little time with, and while fun, it didn’t really feel like the proper way to play Verdun.

Verdun Aisne 2

The game has 6 maps based on battlefields from the Western Front of World War I along the French and Belgian borders with Germany.  With the exception of the Asine map which has nice lush greens and blues, the other 5 are kind of drab browns and grays which is sort of how it should be with the damage that was done to “no man’s land” but it make it extra difficult to locate and identify enemies from long ranges, and not nice to look at. The details in the weapons looks very nice though and overall the game is well detailed, but definitely a few levels below modern AAA FPS’es. It is difficult to differentiate between enemy and ally when things get hectic, unless you are very knowledgeable on World War I uniforms. When you die, usually in 1 shot from the number of different rifles from someone you can’t see, respawns are on set timers around every 30 seconds and you can respawn on your squad or at the back lines, but I’m not sure how to choose which. There’s also a suppression system where if you have shots taken at you your screen will start to darken until you can take cover, however there’s no indication about where these shots are coming from which is a little frustrating especially when shots are so fatal. I’m running a fairly old gaming PC and have only really been playing on Medium visual setting and it has run at a pretty consistent 50 frames per second, and if I up it to High it will run right around 30 for me.

Verdun Artois 4

Yes, there are gas masks

All in all, Verdun is a decent outing from small developers in Europe trying to break into a very competitive market place. It tries something new which is refreshing but it’s not quite up to snuff to challenge the AAA developers for market share. If you are looking for a shooter that isn’t just the exact same things you’ve seen over and over, give it a try, it’s a decent playing game that has its flaws.

 

is a writer, pod-caster, and the resident hater of things (especially Wii) on One-Quest.com. Drootin is a total sports nerd and sports gamer, spending the majority of his time either watching sports or listening to sports radio, often while playing some kind of sports game. He's also a HUGE pro wrestling fan and often tweets during RAW and Pay Per Views.

You can Email Drootin or follow Drootin on Twitter @IAmDroot or Facebook

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